Save the Fluffies. Animal Rights gets panned.

Richard F Hall realistic at seanet.com
Thu Dec 24 08:20:19 EST 1998


From: fried at aesops.force9.co.uk (fried)
Subject: Re: Save the Fluffies. Animal Rights gets panned.
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 17:46:48 GMT

After a comparison of Kitten's chasing in play, and "logically" predicting 
the location of their "prey"-mate.   rich wrote:
>>>>In some ways, humans more often seem less logical than their 
>>>>animal counterparts.  It's almost as though the capability of greater 
>>>>intelligence enables a greater potential for illogical considerations.

Julian was edited and represented as saying:
>>>I think your kittens example says it all.  Why do you assume the kitten is
>>>"be[ing] logical in this limited way"?  Maybe it is just anticipating a
>>>repeat occurrence because this has become imprinted upon its "neural
>>>circuits", a mere learned behaviour?
>>>So it may seem pure pedantry, but I don't believe the kitten is being
>>>logical.

rich followed:
>In all fairness, the kitten hasn't the slightest idea of what you are saying.  
>Being "logical" is a human thing if you restrict it to be that, just as 
>having a soul is.  But in all fairness, every creature on earth experiences 
>life to the extent that it has been enabled.  Some creatures experience quite 
>a bit more than we humans..  as a matter of fact, virtually all experience 
>something we don't.  I thing the kitten has logic to the extent that it does.  
>There is a certain degree of logic that we possess because we share that 
>gangleon (or whatever).  Every creature is a precious miracle of G*D.

Julian counters:
>Question: why are humans so illogical?  You have cut out the rest of my post,
I cut out the rest of your post for brevity, Julian, I thought your statement was 
very clear.  But, why are humans so illogical?  I will include your post, as you 
wish, in it's entirety.

>ie: the bit which has a direct bearing upon your above answer, in order,
>seemingly, to make your answer appear logically consistent with the bit you
>have not cut out.
I'm not trying to "make" anything irrational, or fruitless.

>Thus the conversation we are engaged in becomes irrational, and whether
>irrational or not, fruitless in terms of advancing the debate. This is the
>bit you cut out:

>"So it may seem pure pedantry, but I don't believe the kitten is being
>logical.  A logical construct can be made of it, that is all." 
I made the logical construct..  the Kitten WAS logical according to the 
construct.. ?????  What does the "rest of your post" add?

>Just because we
>have invented the concept of logical constructs does not mean that our
>brains operate according to their dictates......or not.
>Equally when we use logic, or shout eureka when an idea seems intuitively
>right, we are using the same "connectionism" if I can borrow the word for a
>moment, rather than proving the existence of higher reasoning faculties. It
>is no big deal. It is not a qualitative difference.
If Kitty were to just happen to run to the top of the couch and 
the other Kitten appeared..  eureka!  But that isn't the case, Kitty sees 
the event, and predicts the outcome..  and runs to the top of the couch 
purposefully.  Kitty will learn to try to predict the behavior of the "prey"-mate 
in other situations than just the couch..  there is generalization to this 
mere association, as well.  How close to a logical construct does one 
have to get?  Do you think logical constructs came to "us" in only books?

>It is highly relevant, because in earlier posts you have equated logic with
>reason. 
I would not equate the two..  though they are close.

>Here I am showing how I believe they do not equate, 
>how there is no causal chain of this highly simplified type that cannot 
>simply be equated with association, in all animals, including humans. 
>So we cannot "be logical", any more than a kitten can. 
>We simply apply logic as a tool which we have learned, associatively, to 
>use, and which gives the eureka sensation because it works, "is right".
Then you are saying that anything "logical" is a cerebral "tool" invented and 
constructed by human cerebrums and taught.  Anything not in that category is 
"association".  ok Julian!  Others will agree with you, but I think it's broader 
than that.  You are not examining where "logic" came from.

>This is also highly relevant today because the mechanistic view of the brain
>has again assumed primacy in scientific circles. It is like Skinner
>revisited. The trouble with Skinnerism is that it led to all sorts of gross
>misapplications and misunderstandings, with which Skinner himself was
>associated.
I'm sure there are many..  it would make a great essay.  
Like Franklin and his kite..  how many have been "fried" due to that?

>My position would be that the brain is indeed a machine, but that:
>1. no way do we have enough understanding of how it works to go 
>round making the causal links which are being made right now 
>(repeat Skinnerism)
>2. we already have enough knowledge to supplant the present wrong
>understanding of the "machine" with something more consistent with the facts
>You are confounding logic with intelligence, reason, and anything else you
>deem to be a higher intellectual faculty.
Confusing logic with higher intelligence? Dear Julian, I don't see how the 
Kitten story does this.  
It seems that "Logic", and it's ninteen (or so) rules, is very sacred to you.  
However, 
1.) Skinner was a valid, important step (without your stupid 
     misinterpretations), 
2.) Kittens are organisms, not machines, and 
3.) The constructs of "logic" are an attempt to interpret reality but don't 
      always lead us there.

In all fairness, the kitten hasn't the slightest idea of logical constructs.  
Being "logical" is a human thing if you restrict it to be that, just as 
having a soul is.  But, in all fairness, every creature on earth experiences 
life to the extent that it has been enabled.  Some creatures experience quite 
a bit more than we humans..  as a matter of fact, virtually all experience 
something we don't.  I think the kitten has logic to the extent that it's 
behavior is thus interpreted.  There is a certain degree of logic that we 
possess because we share that gangleon (or whatever) with the Kitten.  
Every creature is a precious miracle of G*D.

>rich
>http://www.seanet.com/~realistic/idealism.html
>Realistic Idealism
>Philosophy based on evidence

In some ways, humans more often seem less logical than their 
animal counterparts.  It's almost as though the capability of greater 
intelligence enables a greater potential for illogical considerations.
me

Not much has changed, except no one will read this length of post.




More information about the Neur-sci mailing list